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Need the Christian perspective on hypocracy.

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Robert65, May 9, 2019.

  1. Tanj

    Tanj Redefined comfortable middle class

    Keyword: If

    key word: should.

    In my experience, neither is true.
  2. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27)

    So, Biblical "religion" does include to keep ourselves from being spotted by this evil world.

    In my case, yes there are things which can get the better of me, so I am being judgmental > self-righteously criticizing others, welcoming an opportunity to look down on someone in the news or in what I consider to be wrong church stuff. And I am not first caring in prayer with hope for the person.

    So, I let wrong people be my excuse to be hypocritical. They might be helping to tempt me, but this is no excuse!!!!

    But if I delete that stuff which gets started in me, I now can be with God and discover how He has us loving the fatherless and widows and the hypocrites.

    If I spend time feeling guilty about my failure, this could be a waste of time. I suspect there are people who are in a way excusing themselves, by saying oh I'm a sinner, I'm a hypocrite . . . when they could simply submit to our Father for real correction of our character so we do better > Hebrews 12:4-14.

    But I offer I do understand how it can be meant to be humble, how we admit we can sin and be hypocritical. And we can tell people this, in order to help them to know that sinning and its hypocrisy are wrong. It is good that we know hypocrisy is wrong; but trust God, how He alone is able to change us so we are more and more stable and consistent in sharing with Jesus and how Jesus has us loving . . . discovering loving, instead of hovering in self-inflicted guilt :) which can isolate us.

    How we judge is important.

    "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment." (Philippians 1:9)
  3. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

    United States
    In our own ELCA Lutheran Church we have a diverse range of political views, and with plenty of outspoken liberals and outspoken conservatives. I know because I talk with them face to face for 10 and 20 minutes at a time during coffee and treats after services.

    And get this -- some of the most conservative are close friends with some of the most clearly liberal.

    They love each other.

    I see it first hand, face to face, and anyone could tell if they listened for 5 or 10 minutes -- politics does not divide our church. People can say Trump is crazy or the worst president, and the conservatives will not try to hang them or judge them, and people can say Hillary was 'crooked' (even if it's greatly exaggerated, etc.), and the liberals will just smile and even touch them on the arm and keep talking with them.

    We just don't care about politics more than we do about each other. We care about each other far more than politics.

    This is because instead of having some person, a pastor, or whoever, be our leader, instead of that, Christ is our leader, and we know He said "love one another", and we just have listened and heard and know He told us to do that, and actually do.

    So, you see, you could go to 2 or 4 churches, and not see this, because of the churches you picked, but you could attend other churches and see the same as what I'm describing. It depends on the church, and whether they have heard what Christ said and listened to Him.

    If you'd like to, I'd be glad for you to share this post with your friend.
  4. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    Maybe that is true - no one you have met in person is not a hypocrite. This is possibly true for most people of the world (that they never met a follower of Jesus).

    More likely, perhaps, some were not hypos, but you had no way of knowing?
  5. klutedavid

    klutedavid Well-Known Member

    Your friend has become self aware and is recognizing that level of hypocrisy in his own life.

    Christians do not succeed in the Christian life by becoming perfect people. Christians are sinners saved by the grace of God. Christians strive to be holy people as a consequence of that gift of grace, but also recognize our own deeply flawed selfish natures.
  6. SoldierOfTheKing

    SoldierOfTheKing Christian Spenglerian

    United States
    "Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue."

    Don't knock the hypocrite too hard. At least he has standards to fall short of.
  7. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    United States
    In Relationship
    In the Lutheran tradition we do not embrace the idea that our Christian religion is about moral progress. That is, being a Christian doesn't make us less sinful than anyone else, it doesn't mean that we're climbing a ladder up toward some elevated height in which we'll be a more moral or more righteous or less sinful state than anyone else. In a way it's basically the complete opposite: Being a Christian is about confronting ourselves with a certain level of honesty, that we are sinners.

    So, yes, Christians are hypocrites. I'm a massive hypocrite, Christ has called me to loving my neighbor as myself and yet I frequently and very often don't do that.

    St. Paul in his letter to the Romans phrases it like this, "The good that I want to do I don't do, and the evil I don't want to do I do." This frustration at failing to do what is right and instead doing what is not right leads him to exclaim, "What a wretched man I am! Who can save me from this body of death?!"

    Now, the response to this isn't to give up and just act like a miserable, toxic person without care; the response is still to seek abide in Christ's commandment: to love the Lord our God and love our neighbor as ourselves. But there is an enduring paradox, a conflict, a struggle; the struggle between what we do and what we ought to do. How we should be and how we are.

    Being a Christian doesn't magically get rid of that struggle, being a Christian places us right in the center of it. Jesus Himself said that following Him is about carrying a cross, that life in this world is going to involve struggle and suffering. Some of those struggles might come from outside forces such as hostile powers (such as ancient Rome), but a lot of that struggle also comes from within; the constant battle against our self-turned passions.

    In Luther's 28 Theses of the Heidelberg Disputation he wrote, "The Law says, 'Do this' and it is never done. Grace says, 'Trust this' and it is done already." This is, in brief, what Lutherans refer to as the Dichotomy of Law and Gospel, which forms one of our most central ways of talking about matters of religion and how we read the Bible. That the Law is not the Gospel and vice versa; that the Law is about what we ought to do (and by implication what we ought not do), but on account of sin our failure to do it. The Gospel, on the other hand, isn't about commands but promises, what God has promised and, therefore, what God has already done for us.

    The Law, because of what it is, condemns us in our sin, and tells us that we are sinners, that we are hypocrites, that we act like wretches; not because the Law was given to condemn, but because when we read "Love your neighbor" and we aren't loving our neighbor, we see we are not abiding by that command. In the same way that in civil law the law to wear a safety belt in your vehicle while on the road means that, if you aren't wearing it, you have violated the law and are condemned by that law. The law to wear a safety belt wasn't made to punish, it was made to protect and keep people safe on the road, but by consequence it condemns those who break the law.

    This is why in the New Testament St. Paul says that no one can be righteous under the Law, because all have sinned.

    Conversely, the Gospel is about what God has done for sinners in Jesus, that our sins are forgiven, that we have peace with God, that we are no longer strangers and enemies but friends and children. There was nothing we did to earn this favor, God does this purely out of love.

    So where our sins condemn us, so that our own actions stand as our own accuser, God demonstrates His love in Christ to redeem, save, and heal us. Through what Christ has done, and which we receive as pure gift in Word and Sacrament (e.g. the preaching of the Gospel, Baptism, the Eucharist, etc), that we can confidently saw we belong to God in this life, and with hope look forward to the day when God makes all things new, at the resurrection of the dead, and this body of death shall be raised up, transformed, and all the former things gone and the new remaining. On that day we shall no longer be hypocrites, but actually have the fullness of the glory of God, not only as hope and promise, but as immanent reality.

    But while in this life there is the tension between the now and the yet to come. Lutherans speak of this tension by using the Latin phrase simul iustus et peccator, meaning "both saint and sinner". The paradox between the holiness we have as gift in Christ by the grace of God, and the demonstrable unholiness of our own heart, thoughts, and actions as we observe of ourselves.

    This is also why Lutherans speak of the importance of rejecting "the theology of glory", i.e. the idea that we can achieve some sort of glory in this life by our own works, or that somehow we have glory here in this world by our religiosity, our piety, or some other thing. And instead on being "theologians of the cross", because the theology of the cross points us toward Christ, to God's revealing of Himself through the suffering of Jesus; and to the reality that this Christian life is one lived by faith and not by sight. To confess that the suffering and struggle of this life--the cross of this life--is where God makes Himself present to and for us, by grace, through faith. So that it is here that God's grace is found, not in being "spiritual" not in being "pious".

    Jesus once gave a lesson by teaching from a parable, that once there was a Pharisee and a tax-collector who went to the Temple to worship God. The Pharisee coming to the temple lifted his eyes up to heaven and loudly declared, "I thank you O Lord that I am not like these sinners here--these extortioners, these adulterers, these unjust people--but especially this tax collector, I fast twice a week, I tithe from all I possess." Next to him was the tax-collector, who could not even lift his eyes up from off the ground, but merely beat his chest in grief and sorrow and shame, uttering only quietly these words, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner." Jesus continued, "I tell you the truth, it was this man who went back home justified, and not the former. For all who exalt themselves shall be humbled, and all who humble themselves shall be lifted up."

  8. Robert65

    Robert65 Member

    United States
    Yet one can support party values without compromising their Christian values. Sadly Christians are a slave to their tribalistic nature like the rest of us. Because of this I rarely hear a Christian Trump supporter take a hard stand against Trump's overt immorality. Tribalism makes us very forgiving and tolerant of immorality in those we support yet harsh against those who we do not. Christian values should not be suspended for political expedience. It is fine to support Trump. It is not fine to give him a pass while calling out the left for that which Trump has done himself. This hypocrisy damages the credibility of the religion.
  9. Robert65

    Robert65 Member

    United States
    Thanks for the perspective.
  10. Robert65

    Robert65 Member

    United States
    What is the function of Christianity and why is there not universal agreement upon it within the religion?
  11. Chris V++

    Chris V++ Mostly Water Supporter

    United States
    Yeah, I sort of cringe when he tries to sound Christian ish, but it's not a judgmental cringe, because I have my own sin to deal with, but more because of the optics of it. There are a lot of politically liberal Christian democrats BTW. The one draw back with this two party system is the tight little box we put ourselves in.